The Shadow Electric- Tabloid

30 Jan

By Eleanor Colla

When I saw that Tabloid (2010) would be playing at MIFF in 2011 I think I may have actually gasped in delight before quickly uploading the MIFF website to secure a ticket. And I am so glad I did.

Tabloid is Errol Morris’ most recent documentary and it follows the life of extraorindaryJoyce McKinney: beauty queen, fiancée, kidnapper, escort, dog-lover, stalker, and seemingly misunderstood prey of the British tabloids. Throughout Tabloid Morris once again exhibits his masterful use of documentary cinema as he draws out the story from his subjects whilst simultaneously drawing the viewer in.

In the early 1970s, McKinney had just been crowned Miss Wyoming World and began dating Kirk Anderson, whom she eventually became engaged to. Yet Anderson was sent to England as a Mormon missionary by his church, something that McKinney believed was against his will. Thus with the help of childhood friend Keith May she chartered a private plane to England to find him, rescue him, and bring him back home. Reports differ as to whether Anderson went willingly with McKinney or was forced at gunpoint into her car- but what happened afterwards played out on newspaper headlines across the world, causing ‘The Case of the Manacled Mormon’ to become hot gossip.

According to newspapers, McKinney had kidnapped Anderson, taken him to a country town and shackled him to a bed until he was able to escape and call for help. Bondage had been involved. People began questioning where she had acquired the funds for her botched rescue-attempt. Eventually McKinney tricked British customs officers and illegal flew back to America where the drama did not end.

I suggest you watch Morris’ television show First Person in order to get a sense of Morris’ style, and to also hear some amazing stories (personally I recommend ‘The Killer Inside Me’ and ‘The Little Gray Man’- both available on youtube).

Tabloid is showing at The Shadow Electric (outdoor cinema in Melbourne), this Thursday 2nd February. Doors open at 6pm.


One Response to “The Shadow Electric- Tabloid”

  1. alicia March 8, 2012 at 10:22 pm #

    Looks intersting, thanks

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